Mighty Good Undies organic fairtrade cotton undies - banner head

Did you know that the average pair of jeans uses over 20,000 litres of water over its lifetime[1]? Or that over 95% of conventional cotton is a genetically modified organism?

Did you know that in China minimum wage in the garment industry is roughly one-half to as little as one-quarter of what is considered a living wage[2]? And did you know that there are estimated to be around 170 million children world-wide who are considered child laborers — predominately in the textiles sector[3]?

Did you also know that none of these practices are necessary for a commercially viable garment industry? That sustainable, ethical and profitable alternatives exist? In fact, these alternatives aren’t all that alternative: industrial scale, commercial, ethical and sustainable supply exist right now. Their work, particularly in cotton, is already changing the industry for the better.

Mighty Good Undies is a new brand of basic intimates made from super soft toxic-free organic cotton, purchased on Fair Trade terms, made by adults that earn a living wage.  Mighty Good was created to prove that Fair Trade organic cotton can be accessible to everyone.

Spearheaded by activist and ethical fashion designer Hannah Parris,  and her business partner Elena Antoniou, the brand is driven by a desire “to create a break-through product that was ethical and organic and would appeal to a mass market at an affordable price.”

Hannah and Elena are  passionate about Fair Trade and organic cotton because these systems of production address many of the social and environmental problems that plague the fashion industry. For example, the cotton industry is a major producer of carbon emissions — about 14kg across the life cycle of the average pair of jeans [4].

While we can reduce some of that by washing in cold water and using a washing line, purchasing organic cotton can reduce the growing emissions of the crop by roughly half of that compared to conventional cotton [5].  Plus, organic farming methods — and the social benefits of it — also help the farmers and their communities develop greater resilience against the impacts of climate change.

Just an importantly, the Fairtrade and Global Organic Textiles System used by Mighty Good Undies ensures that the supply chain is free of child labour, exploited workers and that internationally recognised standards for health and safety, workers’ wages and environmental management are met at each production stage.

The initial range is being launched through a crowd-sourcing campaign on StartSomeGood– if you’re in the market, check them out.

Mighty Good Undies reached out FairMarketeers to supply this feature and we were more than happy to post it because we think what they’re doing is awesome. We have not been paid to publish this article.

References:

[1] Cotton Incorporated (2012) Life Cycle Assessment of Cotton Fibre and Fabric: Full Report A project of the Vision 21 Project.

[2] See for example the work of the Clean Clothes Campaign (http://www.cleanclothes.org/) or Labour Behind the Label (http://labourbehindthelabel.org/).

[3] See for example https://labs.theguardian.com/unicef-child- labour/

[4] Cotton Incorporated (2012) Life Cycle Assessment of Cotton Fibre and Fabric: Full Report A project of the Vision 21 Project.